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Many people with borderline personality disorder (BPD) often encounter difficulty with relationships, mood swings, and abandonment issues. However, this does not mean a person with this disorder cannot live a healthy life. In fact, several people diagnosed with BPD are high-functioning individuals.
Living with someone that has BPD can be extremally difficult if the condition is not managed. Supporting a loved one with BPD can improve the environment and living conditions. Practicing healthy communication by avoiding labeling and blaming can be helpful. Asking open-ended questions can clear a way through unexpected tension as well. Ultimately, the most important thing you can do is educate yourself about borderline personality disorder.
What Is Borderline Personality Disorder?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, last reviewed in April 2022, borderline personality disorder is a psychiatric condition that relentlessly impacts an individual’s ability to control and cope with their emotions. Your loved one may experience long-term patterns of instability and tempestuous emotions. The loss of management can greatly increase impulsive behavior, negatively impact relationships with friends and family, and impact self-esteem.
BPD can occur in both men and women. Hospitalized psychiatric patients may also cope with mental illness. It was stated that women do tend to seek treatment more often than men. Surveys have predicted the universality of BPD affects 20% of people in the inpatient psychiatric population and 1.6% of the general population.
Based on a separate NIH study through Medline Plus, the cause of BPD may be unknown, yet a few risk factors may come into play, such as:
- Childhood or adolescent abandonment
- Poor upbringing or unstable family life
- Environmental factors such as sexual, emotional, or physical abuse
- Cultural factors
- Genetics or a problem with brain development
Symptoms of BPD
According to Mental health.gov, last updated in March 2022, individuals who have BPD may experience extreme symptoms and view events as either perfect or terrible. If your loved one is diagnosed with BPD, they may have difficulty establishing their identity. Due to uncertainty, specific values and interests can swiftly change. Your loved one’s assumptions about other people can abruptly change. Certain role models may be appreciated one day and not recognized the next day. The instantaneous switch in feelings for people can often lead to unstable or broken relationships.
Other signs and symptoms may include:
- Intense fear of abandonment
- Feeling depressed if left alone
- Avoiding commitment or suddenly breaking off relationships
- Often feeling bored or empty inside
- Presents frequent displays of aggression and outbursts
- Impulsivity with substance use, promiscuity, or spending sprees
- Performs self-harm such as cutting, punching, or burning oneself
- Suicide attempts
Complications if Left Untreated
If left untreated, BPD can follow with serious complications in your loved one’s lifetime. They may experience broken marriages and unplanned pregnancies and deal with dysfunctional interpersonal relationships. The social complexity and mental instability can sometimes lead to severe loneliness and depression when dealing with untreated symptoms associated with BPD. Your loved one may tend to hop from one job to another or find it difficult to manage with professionalism in the workforce. Legal trouble is also a risk factor if the mental health condition is left untreated.
BPD can also have a negative impact on your loved one’s physical health. For example, BPD is linked with weight problems due to dysregulated eating. Unhealthy weight gain can lead to serious chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Getting Effective Help for BPD
Living with BPD can be extremely difficult, especially if left untreated. If your loved one is having difficulty coping with BPD, then they risk facing many complications that can severely affect their relationships, self-image, mood, and motivation. Learning how to recognize the symptoms and understand their health condition can help you, and your loved one take the necessary action to find appropriate care. Doing so will improve the quality of you and your loved one’s life. Effective options include:
- Medication: Certain medications can help a person cope with BPD but are not a primary way to treat mental illness.
- Psychotherapy: There are psychotherapy options, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), that can treat BPD.
- Family group therapy: Therapy for caregivers and family members can also be an option. If you are unsure where to find help, a health provider can refer you to a specialist if needed.
- Peer-supported groups: Such groups consisting of peers can be beneficial for helping you cope with BPD because you will come to realize that you are not alone.
Seek Professional Help
Seeking a qualified professional will aid in the diagnosis and treatment process. Taking such measures will ensure that your loved one is being cared for appropriately. Professional care helps establish the building blocks for developing tools to help you and your loved one cope and helps support accountability and motivation.
It can be difficult for a person living with borderline personality disorder. Emotional instability, damaged relationships, and fear of abandonment are just a few symptoms associated with BPD that can be overwhelming. Here at Alter Behavioral Health, we are glad to provide ongoing support and help you find mental stability to improve your quality of life. Our facility can provide you or a loved one with special services to make treatment a smooth process. Our goal is to help you find the right professionals to develop an organized health plan. Our team welcomes you with open arms to our center. If you need professional assistance, there is help available. For more information about our services, call (877) 205-1207.